In response to my last blog, my friend and blogging inspiration said people have complained to her that Barack Obama does not have enough foreign affairs experience (she commented on The Great Geno’s Myspace page, where I also post all my blogs). Since my blogs are usually ranting against somebody instead of for Obama, I would like to make three points on this subject.
Tell your friends.
First, Obama does have foreign affairs experience. He currently is on the Senate Committee for Foreign Affairs, as well as the Committee for Homeland Security and the Committee for Veterans Affairs. Further, he co-wrote the Lugar-Obama Act, which was a non-proliferation bill designed to keep anti-aircraft and other conventional weapons, as well as weapons of mass destruction, from being sold to terrorist organizations or other governments and organizations who would use them for nefarious purposes. From my understanding, most of these come from the former soviet states, and either are or have the potential to be sold illegally to help further everything from terrorist efforts against the United States to the civil wars in Africa.
Secondly, obviously he does not have the foreign affairs experience of McCain, but that does not mean he won’t be a better President. Foreign policy is just one part of a President’s job. He’s the head of the executive branch, whose primary responsibility is to enforce the law of the land, not to send us into war. Remember when everybody thought George H.W. Bush was brilliant in foreign policy but failed to re-elect him because of his shortcomings in domestic policy? And the President will be surrounded by top-notch guys (and gals). Many people would argue most of the military decisions should be made by the Chiefs-of-Staff. But it’s more about how effectively Obama will make his decisions based upon the information he’s given, using the people at his disposal. I think Obama will surround himself with competent people, not “yes-men” who are rewarded for loyalty, and I feel very strongly that his ability to make sound decisions is impeccable.
Finally, Senators are the only people outside of federal executive offices who are allowed to deal with foreign policy decisions on an official basis. Governors, by law, are explicitly forbidden from engaging in foreign policy. This is a federal, Constitutional check on a governor’s power, and is not open to interpretation. So, the last President we had who was a former senator was Nixon. Since then, there have only been two Presidents who have fought in a war or had foreign policy experience; Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. All the others; Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush W., were elected from governorships, did not serve in a war, and had no foreign policy experience.
So the point is, other than George H.W. Bush, Obama would actually be the most qualified to lead our country’s foreign policy than any President since Nixon/Ford.